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Monday, April 19, 2004

Harassment campaigns

Thinking With My Fingers on the culture of sexual harassment in the upper sciences that women can expect. Basically, it's about how one of the big barriers to women joining the sciences is the hostility that greets their presence, often expressed in gross sexual harassment. Of course, the myth about sexual harassment that girls should be grateful for whatever sexual attention they get is expressed and noted by Torill:

However these guys are not really doing you any harm, admittedly they are objectifying your body but, heck, i'd love for someone to objectify my body and most women love the flattery.

I hope this poster is making money to spread this crap. She (or she claims to be a she) goes on to say that women love being treated like meat and brainy women particularly should like it because they so rarely get the opportunity. She claims most women feel this way. I'm sorry but not in my world. I don't know any women who think it's wonderful to be intimidated by a man using sexual behavior in a threatening manner because he is threatened by intelligence in women. That is an insult on so many levels.
This kind of rhetoric not only hurts women intellectually, by suggesting that they should enjoy being treated like retarded versions of men mentally, but it damages them sexually as well. In the real world, if a man is attracted to a woman he doesn't decide to let her know by scaring her. Instead of focusing on what is wrong with a woman who doesn't like to be man-handled and harassed, it might be more productive to examine why some men are so threatened by women they fall back on sexual degradation and hints of violence to restore their own self-esteem.


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